Firefighters use unlivable home as training grounds

Posted at 8:09 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 22:31:47-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – The charred up debris scattered around the backyard of a home on Broadmoor Bluffs Drive may seem out of place, but it’s intentional and it serves an important purpose.

Four years ago, that home was declared unsafe to live in due to landslides so the City of Colorado Springs bought it and on Wednesday morning, Colorado Springs firefighters used it to train.

As part of the training, a fire was sparked inside the home and crews then worked to put it out and stop it from spreading.

More than 40 firefighters and staff from the Colorado Springs Fire Department participated.
They’re also taking advantage of recent moisture to do this.

“When we can get training like this done now, it’s super critical,” said Captain Brian Vaughan.
“Now, this is structure fire training. But if we were in a very dry period, we wouldn’t even be able to light fires like this. We’d have to put crews below to make sure no sparks were going anywhere and it just wouldn’t be advisable.”

Though the training resembles the chaos of a real fire, it’s important to note there are rules for live fire training CSFD follows.
That means every step was carefully planned and firefighters were briefed so they knew where to enter and where to exit.

The training can be even more critical for newer firefighters.

“Some of them have been on the line and may have not had their first structure fire yet,” added Vaughan.
“So to feel [the] heat, to see what it’s like when smoke is banked down to the floor, when you start losing all your senses and remember all the fundamentals of firefighting, staying as a team.”

Overall, learning how to contain a fire inside a home structure helps firefighters break away from their usual training and adapt to different circumstances.